Feature

Republic of Fiji Military Forces Shine at Australian Skills Competition

Hosted by the Australian Defence Forces, our soldiers competed against seven nations where they were tested for their individual and teamwork skills, physical stamina and mental preparedness.
16 Sep 2019 13:08
Republic of Fiji Military Forces Shine at Australian Skills Competition
There’s been great camaraderie among all nations involved in the Ex Hydra International Military Skills Competition in Brisbane. Photo: 7th Brigade - Australian Army

A 10-member Republic of Fiji Military Forces team won silver standard in the annual International Military Skills Competition, Exercise Hydra in Brisbane last week.

Hosted by the Australian Defence Forces, our soldiers competed against seven nations where they were tested for their individual and teamwork skills, physical stamina and mental preparedness.

This is the third year of the annual competition.

RFMF coach Warrant Officer Class 1 Eliki Bera said they only had two weeks of preparation.

Previously, the team made up of soldiers from the Third Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment (3FIR).

This year the net was cast wider and soldiers from other units including the Force Training Group, Logistics Support Unit and also the 3FIR are part of the team.

Problem solving challenges were some of the activities in the Exercise Hydra International Military Skills Competition at the International Military Skills Competition at Greenbank Training Area, Brisbane. Photo: 7th Brigade - Australian Army

Problem solving challenges were some of the activities in the Exercise Hydra International Military Skills Competition at the International Military Skills Competition at
Greenbank Training Area, Brisbane. Photo: 7th Brigade – Australian Army

“Despite only 10 days of preparation at the Force Training Group in Nasinu and insufficient training equipment, our team competed with their heart and won silver.”

The French Foreign Legion Paratroopers based in New Caledonia won gold while the Papua New Guinea Defence Force took bronze.

WO1 Bera said in order to excel in such international-level competitions, our soldiers require better equipment and more time to train together.

“We represent the RFMF and Fiji at these competitions where military skills are tested. It also enhances our image in regards to securing international peacekeeping duties in the future.”

The RFMF team were hosted by the 8th/9th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment where a thorough induction process was conducted.

For two-days, the teams were shown the weapon systems and activities involved during the competition.

The Republic of Fiji Military Forces team cheer on an Australian Army team as they pass each other during the competition. Photo: 7th Brigade - Australian Army

The Republic of Fiji Military Forces team cheer on an Australian Army team as they pass each other during the competition. Photo: 7th Brigade – Australian Army

A statement by the Australian Defence Force said the competition is designed to test individual and team skills and reinforce the strong military relationships between Australia and its regional partners.

This year Brisbane’s 7th Combat Brigade competed against teams from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, France, Tonga, Fiji, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States.

In the lead up to the event, Minister for Defence, Senator Linda Reynolds said the exercise helped to extend the comradery of soldiering across the region and further deepen Australia’s military ties.

“This international military skills competition focused on soldiers developing friendships, mutual respect and professional competition.”

Soldiers competed in activities including:

  • navigation,
  • obstacle courses,
  • marksmanship and a,
  • casualty evacuation scenario.

Senator Reynolds said the real value of the exercise is the opportunity for soldiers across the region to come together to learn from each other, strengthen relationships and build friendships through good soldiering.

The RFMF team returned on Saturday.

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